queueing up !

All in all, it's been the week from outerspace where customers and customer service are concerned. I watched one customer literally run out of the store this week, exclaiming, " Give my refund to the next customer in line !! I don't want it! I don't need it !!" Leaving our assistant manager standing with her mouth open, hands up in the air, saying "Sir, Sir, Sir ........!" And this was the more 'normal' part of our week.

On busy weekends at the store, we post a sign politely requesting customers to form a line and wait for the next available customer service rep to assist them. What is it about Americans and lines ???? or reading signs ???? You Brits are so orderly and polite in your queueing. No squabbling there, Oh No! In Central America, it's the game of "whoever gets to the register first - WINS - elbows, pushing and tripping are encouraged !"

In our store, customers generally fall into three categories: those who read the sign and obey; those who read the sign and disobey; those who disregard the sign altogether.

As it had been "one of those weeks," Today, I was doing my best to 'fly under the radar', take care of customers, and avoid management as much as possible. I had already gotten tangled up in one dog pile this week and came out of it .... smelly. I was feeling rather pleased with myself, as my shift wound down, for accomplishing my objectives.

Until he appeared in front of me.

Yep. The Line Jumper.

Remarkably, they all have a similar MO: rush the counter; begin asking questions centered around the theme of "Can you; Will you; Please ..... ??? helpme ;" and claim ignorance and disbelief when told, "There is a line. You will have to wait." Inevitably, I am asked, "But can you answer one question ...."

Sigh. Go ahead. Laugh at me. But if I answer the customer's question, you can COUNT on the fact that the next customer in line is going to complain; I will get 'talked to and advised of' by one of the store 'supervisors'; and the One Question will reveal itself to be actually 25 complicated questions all bundled together.

So I points my mule hoof to the end of the line and say, "Go. Wait."

"Can I help the next person in line ?" ......

from 'Adventures in Retail,' Vol I. No. 3



J Cosmo Newbery said...

And you do this for fun?

red dirt girl said...

my favorite mystery man!
good to 'see' ya.
let's say .... i'm queued up and enjoying the view of humanity whilst i wait ...

okay. i confess. i need the cash in the interim.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

cash in the interim? The ex is promising something and has not delivered? Need me and David to go over and sort this out?????

red dirt girl said...

Gary! oh. how sweet.

wellll... the wheels of justice turn ever so slowly, especially when money is involved. Texas family law doesn't truly support alimony - so I don't get any. And the Attorney General's child services unit is all tangled up in bureaucratic paper strips, trying to sort out the divorce decree and mario's attempt to re-write how and when he writes those checks..... in a month and a half, i've received one payment. minus a few hundred dollars owed.

see, in an oil man's country, once he breaches the 6 figure mark, the formula for child support actually LOWERS his support. The poor shmuck who is stuck in a low end job pays more child support than my ex!!

hows 'bout them apples, eh ???????

thanks for the offer. but i'm hanging in jes fine. remember - i won the smile!


soubriquet said...

On the very same day, I took my elderly and increasingly slow-and-wobbly mother to do her shopping. She suggested we eat at the supermarket's cafeteria, where it appeared just one overheated and harassed young lady was on duty. My mother asked altogether too many questions, and was answered politely. She asked for a small portion of lasagne, but the system does not allow for varying portion sizes. Behind us were other customers.
Eventually, plates loaded, we moved from the hot counter to the till, to find a couple with their filled trays of sandwiches, dessert, and coffees, impatiently awaiting the girl who'd been serving us.
She reached the till. Smiled at the little-old-lady who'd been holding up the queue, and glared at the waiting trayholders. "Did you join the line before this lady and gentleman?" "er, no, but-" "Then please return to your place in the line, these people were before you"...
Exit the jumpers.
And our server spent an extra few moments telling the old lady she looked very smart in her winter coat.

This being England, jumping place in a queue is a heinous crime, punishable by thirty years of hard-labour in the stone-quarries of Dartmoor.
The rest of the further delayed queue was tut-tutting with disapproval at the naughty folk, and the assistant got a beaming smile from my mama.

Anonymous said...

nothing like retail, when i first graduated and took a job in, of all places, a book store... naive as i was, an older woman came to the checkout that i manned and pointed to the bestsellers opposite me. she asked, how is the new danielle steele? being fresh from the unreal world of academia i replied, i haven't read it (being a mere 28, i may have had a touch of incredulity in my inflection). she was equally incredulous and even more indignant saying... you work in a book store and you don't read the books? well, what can you say to that? she left unsatisfied.

GEWELS said...

I think every American should be forced to stand in line at a bank in Italy. That'll teach 'em!

red dirt girl said...

OH! what great retail tales to tell!

Instead of writing the book, I think I'm going to compile an anthology of 'Adventures in Retail.' Multiple contributors and such. Love the stories.

I KNOW how Smart Ma-mah looks in her coat. Was she wearing her red shoes ???? Jim, you SHOULD be drawn and quartered - not knowing Danielle Steel - HA! I suppose you were supposed to have also memorized every dictionary sold in your bookstore as well. Summ peoples got NERVE ......
GIRLFRIEND !! Take me to Italy and I'll gladly stand in line at the bank ..... I just want to go to Italy. Sigh.